ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Seems like Maryland is always saying farewell at the Military Bowl.
When the Terrapins last played in the event, Ralph Friedgen walked off the field for the final time in 2010 as coach at his alma mater.
On Friday, Maryland's first bowl appearance under Randy Edsall will be the football program's last game as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. After facing Marshall in the sixth Military Bowl, the Terrapins will bid goodbye to ACC football and begin preparing to play next year in the Big Ten.
Maryland's affiliation with the ACC began in 1953, when it joined as a charter member.
"It is bittersweet," athletic director Kevin Anderson said Thursday. "I understand how much people love the University and being part of the ACC. I do embrace that. But as we move forward, going to the Big Ten is great for the institution and great for the athletic department."
The Terrapins (7-5) understand the significance of the move from the ACC. They would love to go out in style, as they did in their final conference game, a 41-21 rout of North Carolina State on Nov. 30.
Military Bowl Capsule
Marshall (9-4) vs. Maryland (7-5)
GAME TIME: 2:30 p.m. today TELEVISION: ESPN
Line: Marshall by 2 Series Record: First meeting
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Maryland is looking to win its first bowl game under third-year coach Randy Edsall. It's the final game as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference for the Terrapins, who move to the Big Ten in 2014. Marshall seeks to bounce back from a loss to Rice in the Conference USA title game and secure its first season with double-digit wins since 2002.
Marshall QB Rakeem Cato against Maryland's depleted secondary. Cato has thrown for 3,579 yards and has at least one TD pass in 31 consecutive games. The 6-foot junior will be facing a defensive backfield that has two sophomores and a freshman and is without injured starter Dexter McDougle (shoulder). But cornerback Jeremiah Johnson is back after missing much of the season with a fractured toe.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Marshall: WR Tommy Shuler has 97 catches for 1,097 yards and 9 TDs.
Maryland: QB C.J. Brown has thrown for 11 touchdowns and 2,045 yards and run for 12 scores and 538 yards despite missing two games with injuries.
"We take pride in representing the ACC the right way," quarterback C.J. Brown said. "We've been in this conference a long time. We ended our schedule on a high note, and we're looking to build upon that in this game."
Marshall (9-4) has other ideas. The Thundering Herd believes it can make a statement on behalf of Conference USA with a win over the Terrapins.
"We played an ACC school (Virginia Tech) and lost in triple-overtime. That kind of hurt," Marshall right tackle Clint Van Horn said. "We like the challenge of playing up in competition. We have an opportunity to do that, and you can expect nothing less than the best from us."
Things to know about the Marshall-Maryland matchup: